Misinformation plagues the current era where people of all ages are greatly concerned about their body image and seeking the ultimate secrets to effective weight loss. Below, we have outlined 10 of the most common myths related to nutrition, alongside why they're merely myths.
Myth 1: You have to eat small, frequent meals for optimal health
Eating small meals at frequent times each day is a common method used by many people to boost metabolism and weight loss. Experts, however, reiterate that adopting such eating pattern is not necessary as long as you meet your energy needs.
On the other hand, people with certain medical conditions, including being pregnant, may benefit from eating more frequent meals.
Myth 2: Low fat and diet foods are the go-to for weight loss
Don't be tempted by the alluring labels like "low fat," "fat free," "diet," on a number of products signaling that they're best for weight loss. Experts say they are typically the unhealthy choice.
This is backed by research reports that many low fat and diet items contain much more added sugar and salt than their regular-fat counterparts.
Myth 3: ‘Calories in, calories out’ is all that matters when it comes to weight loss
There are many factors that affect weight loss and the popular “calories in, calories out” theory is only a minor fraction of that. So, you shouldn't only consider your calorie intake, also consider factors like genetics, hormonal imbalances, use of certain medications and underlying health conditions.
Myth 4: You're only healthy when you're skinny
Obesity is associated with numerous debilitating health conditions, like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, depression, and cancers. However, this doesn't mean that you have to be skinny to lower your risk of developing such diseases. The most important thing to do is make sure that you consume a nutritious diet and maintain an active lifestyle.
Myth 5: High fat foods are unhealthy
Many people label high fat foods the bane of weight loss and promote intake of low fat foods to benefit their overall health. However, health professionals say that dietary fat is essential for optimal health and that low fat diets are typically linked to a greater risk of health issues. In other words, many high fat foods are extremely nutritious and can actually help you maintain a healthy weight.
Myth 6: Non-nutritive sweeteners are healthy substitutes for sugar
Unlike the common belief regarding non-nutritive sweeteners (NNS), research studies report that constant intake can lead to negative health outcomes.
For example, NNS intake may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes by leading to negative shifts in gut bacteria and promoting blood sugar dysregulation. However, remember that research in this area is ongoing, and future high quality studies are needed to confirm these potential links.
Myth 7: Fiber supplements are a good substitute for high fiber foods
Fiber supplements have become popular because they're an easy way to obtain the necessary dietary fiber and so improve bowel movements and blood sugar control. Still, they should not be used to replace food.
There is indeed nothing like getting the necessary fiber from whole foods like vegetables, beans, and fruit contain nutrients and plant compounds that work synergistically to promote your health.
Myth 8: Carbs will cause you to gain weight
Just like fat, carbs are commonly blamed for causing weight loss and increasing disease risks. But, in reality, eating a moderate amount of nutritious carbs that are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals like starchy root vegetables, ancient grains, and legumes will likely benefit your health — not harm it.
However, make sure to avoid unhealthy eating patters and overindulging in carb-rich sugary foods.
Myth 9: All smoothies and juices are healthy
Health juices and smoothies are currently the rave thanks to celebrity fitness influencers. But you must know that these are really only beneficial when you make them yourself!
It is especially advised that you avoid so-called "organic" juices and smoothies displayed in supermarkets as they are typically loaded with sugar and calories. If consumed in excess, they can promote weight gain and other health issues like tooth decay and blood sugar dysregulation.
Myth 10: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Health professionals once reiterated the important s of eating breakfast but recent research has shown that this might not be the case for most adults. Instead, there are reports that forgoing breakfast may promote reduced calorie intake.
Moreover, partaking in intermittent fasting, during which breakfast is either skipped or consumed later in the day, has been linked to a plethora of benefits, including improved blood sugar control and reductions in inflammatory markers.
Bottom line, health benefits are associated with both eating breakfast and skipping it.
Do you know any more nutrition myths?